In social media networks, parents are notorious for uploading pictures of their kids’ achievements; from winning a gold medal in a rhetorical competition to as simple as a potty training success. Most of it is justified, while the rest is just completely exaggerated and sometimes, annoying. There’s more to the I’m-just-proud-of-my-kids demeanor. A child’s achievement is clearly a reflection of one’s parenting. Their children are their bragging rights.
In tattling the glory of their children, have you ever seen a status that denotes anything about their children’s humility?
In restaurant today, I overheard an 8-year old boy bragging about his condominium and his gigantic television set talking to a middle-aged man. The kid’s father was smiling with pride as his son babbles about their material wealth to others. It was a cringe-worthy sight to see.
Kids are growing up in a world where they are constantly told that they are the best and that they can do anything, even conquer the world. They are given that enormous amount of confidence to overpower others for their very survival.
Tools for arrogance are in abundance. They are given the latest gadgets, the latest clothes, the best shoes, and the best anything that their parents’ money can buy. In an article on New York Times entitled “IsThis the Best Education Money Can Buy?”, a question was raised if humility exists in a school where crowning pompousness is the norm.
Is this a bad thing? Surely not! Giving the best life to our children – beyond what we've experienced – is one of the main essences of good parenting. Another fundamental part of parenting is teaching children the importance of humility in spite of having a frivolous life or lack of.
Lead by example
Genetic make-up and heredity plays a vital part in being humble, but, it can also be a learned trait. Who best to teach kids about humility than their parents? They are their kids’ best teachers. There’s no Humility 101 in a school’s curriculum. A child’s attitude depends on what he was shown and what he was taught by his parents. Circumstances may change one’s attitude over time, but if the background is solid, then the outcome will be good.
Boost a child’s confidence but don’t overdo itThere’s a big difference between making your child believe that he or she’s the best and making him/her believe that she/he's a god. It’s alright to give praises once in awhile; it’s good for a person’s well-being. Pick circumstances that are really worthy of a praise. Don’t be afraid to tell your kid if he/she didn’t do a good job. Follow that up with an advice on how to do it better the next time around. Your goal is to give them honest praises, not empty ones.
Believing in a Higher ProvidenceIt doesn’t matter what kind of religion you have, what matters is the idea that there is someone higher than you, someone better, and someone greater. Teach your kids this notion for them to embrace humility.
Giving financial lessonsTeaching kids early on about money is one of the best ways to make them humble. As they age, they’ll know that money is the major tool to get their wants – be it a toy or an iPad. They may ask you a question such as “Are we rich or poor?” Help them understand that money is a tool to make lives easier, not a means to be superior towards others.
Saying sorryApologizing is one of the noblest gestures and one of the best forms of humility. Teach your child the importance of accepting his mistake and saying sorry. Again, this is best done through example. If you’ve done something wrong to your child, don’t think twice before you apologize.
Raise kind-hearted and humble rock stars! The world badly needs this breed. We have the power to make the future better by making our kids the best.
Onward and Upward!
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